Neil Lucas Owner of Knoll Gardens in Hampreston, near Wimborne, answers our My Dorset questions...

Arriving in east Dorset from Devon in 1994, Neil Lucas began transforming Knoll’s four-acre garden into a secluded naturalistic haven. In 2008 he launched a charity, the Knoll Gardens Foundation. Using the garden as its base, the foundation is dedicated to refining and promoting his relaxed, wildlife friendly gardening style and runs a year-round event programme.

Neil is the UK’s leading authority on ornamental grasses, lectures widely in both this country and overseas,and is a RHS Senior Judge and Council Member, best-selling author and passionate plantsman.

What would be your perfect day out in Dorset?

Possibly visiting one of the county’s many beautiful gardens followed by a walk taking in our world famous coastal scenery; what could be better than plants and views!

What are your fondest memories of the county?

Difficult as I have so many, but perhaps my most abiding impression is one that is renews itself whenever I travel around Dorset; warm and sunny, slightly lazy afternoons deep within the leafy lanes of the county I now call my home.

What has been your proudest achievement?

Receiving my tenth Gold Medal at Chelsea has to be up there, but my lasting legacy will be the garden at Knoll.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Without doubt the natural world and its amazing plant and animal communities. There is such complexity, variability and sheer beauty that it would be difficult not to be inspired. And there is still so much to learn.

What would be your favourite thing to do when you have a day off?

Walking, or just being on and around our Jurassic coast. I love the environment where the land meets the sea, particularly around Eype and Abbotsbury. It refreshes the soul to be a part of it.

Where is your favourite place to eat in the county?

The Seaside Boarding House in Burton Bradstock is right on the coast and has so much going for it. Amazing scenery, great food and fabulous Martinis.

What three things do you associate with Dorset?

Scenery, greenery and pleasure…

If you could summarise the county in one word what would it be?